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Old 06-09-2011, 21:26   #1
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Underrated, Little Seen or Rarely Trumpeted Horror Films

Given that we're coming up to Halloween, I thought we should start a thread where anyone can recommend relatively obscure horror gems for those looking for horror beyond the usual suspects. I'll set the ball rolling, and will contribute once a day. Try to stick to the format if you can, and don't be posting films that the world will have seen:

Barn's List

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)
Deathdream (AKA Dead of Night; 1974)
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)
Eaten Alive (AKA Death Trap; 1977)
The Pack (1977)
Rituals (1977)
Maniac (1980)
Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)
Dead and Buried (1981)
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
The Boogens (1981)
The Prowler (1981)
Nightmares (1983)
Of Unknown Origin (1983)
From Beyond (1986)
The Stepfather (1987)
Bad Dreams (1988)
Lady in White (1988)
Clownhouse (1989)
Intruder (1989)
Society (1989)
The Johnsons (1992)
Cemetery Man (AKA Dellamorte Dellamore; 1994)
Feast Trilogy (2005-2009)
Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
Hatchet (2006)
End of the Line (2007)
Long Pigs (2007)
Trick 'r Treat (2007)
The Burrowers (2008)
Lake Mungo (2008)
Sauna (2008)
Blood Creek (2009)
Sleep Tight (AKA Mientras Duermes; 2011)





Rituals (1977)



Cast

Hal Holbrook, Lawrence Dane, Robin Gammell

Plot (No Spoilers)

Five doctors on a wilderness outing are stalked by something sinister in the Canadian backwoods.

Thoughts

I had wanted to see this film for years but waited patiently for the Code Red DVD, and it was certainly worth it. Those expecting a gorefest will be disappointed; this is pure psychological terror with plenty of room for characterization, with fine turns from the always brilliant Holbrook, Dane and Gammell. Only in the 70s could we see horror like this with an all-male, middle-aged cast, where acting takes priority. The constant stalking of these men creates a consistently eerie tone, while the awesome ending contains some truly nightmarish imagery. In my opinion, Rituals is better than Deliverance, and deserves a place alongside The Exorcist, Halloween, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as one of the great horror films of the 70s, and, indeed, of all time.

DVD Availability

Only one real choice here - the recent Code Red release which has thankfully made this classic available in decent quality only this year. Though a US release, it is REGION 0 so will play on ALL players. It's a fairly rough transfer which gets a little dark in places (especially the end, where the source worsens considerably and it's quite hard to make out everything) but it's never anything less than watchable. Extras include a commentary and a couple of interviews. Only problem is it is quite hard to get since Code Red's distribution is rather poor.

Similar watching

Deliverance, Just Before Dawn, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Motel Hell, Eaten Alive, Wrong Turn, Trapped - anything from the backwoods (slasher) and survival genre.

Trailer



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Old 06-09-2011, 22:12   #2
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Terror at the Opera (1987)
a.k.a Opera



Cast

Cristina Marsillach, Daria Nicolodi, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini

Plot (No Spoilers)

A young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.

Thoughts

I wasn't expecting much from this film as all I ever hear people talk about when championing Argento is how great his other movies are, e.g. Tenebrae, Suspiria, Deep Red, Inferno, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage but this movie was way down the list. I was also aware of how dreadful his work in the 90s and 00s was so it was a pleasant surprise when I found this movie to be just as good or maybe even better than his early work. The effects, the camerawork, the pace of the story, the creative ways in which scenes were constructed to be terrifying were the main reasons for my enjoyment of this movie. It's hard to go any further into why I rate it so highly without describing specific scenes - and therefore including plot spoilers - so I'll end this here.

Legal Availability

The Arrow release is definitely the best available release of the movie as it appears to offer two versions of the movie whilst the Anchor Bay and Blue Underground DVDs only offer one. The Arrow release is 2-disc and is Region 2 but Arrow DVDs can be rather expensive at about 9 or 10 at least.

Similar Watching

Probably the likes of Macabre, Peeping Tom, Deep Red, the use of opera reminds me a bit of The Man Who Knew Too Much as well.
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Old 06-09-2011, 22:17   #3
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ANYTHING by Uwe Boll
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Old 06-09-2011, 23:14   #4
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good thread

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Old 07-09-2011, 15:30   #5
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Dead and Buried (1981)



Cast

James Farentino, Jack Albertson, Robert Englund

Plot (No Spoilers)

A suspense horror film set in a small coastal town where, after a series of gory murders commited by mobs of townspeople against visiting tourists, the corpses begin to come back to life.

Thoughts

Just look at the poster - you know this will be good. Dead and Buried is truly one of the the unsung horrors of the 80s. It's not a conventional 'zombie' film. It's a slow-burner but there's a creepy atmosphere building throughout - the scene involving the family and the attack on the house is a particular stand-out and quite chilling. The ending is fantastic and truly memorable. The small coastal town environment adds to the claustrophobic tone and is quite reminiscent of The Fog in this respect. The acting is also very good, and, to cap it off, Stan Winston chips in with some trademark great make-up and effects.

DVD/Blu-ray Availability

The Blue Underground 2-Disc Limited Edition DVD or Blue Underground's Blu-ray, which is region free and very reasonably priced.

Similar watching

The Fog, Re-Animator (just about), The Thing, Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Trailer

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"Now I absolutely despise the murderer Herzog. I tell him to his face that I want to see him perish like the llama he executed. He should be thrown to the crocodiles alive! An anaconda should throttle him slowly! The sting of a deadly spider should paralyze him! His brain should burst from the bite of the most poisonous of all snakes! Panthers shouldn't slit his throat open with their claws, that would be too good for him! No. Big red ants should piss in his eyes, eat his balls, penetrate his asshole, and eat his guts! He should get the plague! Syphilis! Malaria! Yellow fever! Leprosy! In vain. The more I wish the most horrible of deaths on him and treat him like the scum of the earth that he is, the less I can get rid of him!" - Kinski on Herzog
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Old 07-09-2011, 19:51   #6
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The Wizard of Gore (1970)



Cast

Ray Sager, Judy Cler, Wayne Ratay

Plot (No Spoilers)

A TV talk-show hostess and her boyfriend investigate a shady magician whom has the ability to hypnotize and control the thoughts of people in order to stage gory on-stage illusions using his powers of mind bending.

Thoughts

It was one of the early examples of the gore movie so some of it may appear a little dated but the story and effects still hold up well I feel. The character of Montag the Magnificent and the ending are particular highlights in the movie. I couldn't stop laughing at the last scene in the movie.

DVD/Bluray Availability

The best version of the movie is the Region 2 release from Something Weird DVD. Tartan also released it a while back but it's way out of print nowadays. The Something Weird DVD is also out of print but is available second hand for quite cheap from various sources. I'd be very surprised if this ever gets a bluray release as it was incredibly low budget which is quite obvious from the quality of the DVD transfer.

Similar watching

Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, A Bay of Blood. There is also a remake of The Wizard of Gore that was out in 2007 starring Crispin Glover but avoid that at all costs.
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Old 07-09-2011, 21:43   #7
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Deathdream (AKA Dead of Night; 1974)



Cast

Richard Backus, John Marley

Plot (No Spoilers)

A young man killed in Vietnam inexplicably returns home as a zombie.

Thoughts

A quite superb atmospheric chiller from Bob Clark, director of other horror staples Black Christmas and Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things. Again it's technically a zombie film, but not in the conventional sense; Andy is representative of a generation who came back from Vietnam as changed men, and not in a good way. There's some truly log-forming moments in this, not least the tense sequence at the doctor's surgery, the climax of which almost caused my liver to fall out of my arse. Tom Savini in his first major gig provides the effects, including the shit-inducing real visage of Andy. Ranks alongside Rituals as one of the best unsung horrors of the 70s. Rumours of a remake sadly abide.

DVD/Blu-ray Availability

The Blue Underground DVD is the only real option, laden with extras and region free. I'm shocked they haven't seen fit to release this title on Blu-ray yet.

Similar watching

'Bobby' segment from Dead of Night (TV, 1977), Night of the Living Dead, Pet Semetary, Johnny Got His Gun

Trailer

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"Now I absolutely despise the murderer Herzog. I tell him to his face that I want to see him perish like the llama he executed. He should be thrown to the crocodiles alive! An anaconda should throttle him slowly! The sting of a deadly spider should paralyze him! His brain should burst from the bite of the most poisonous of all snakes! Panthers shouldn't slit his throat open with their claws, that would be too good for him! No. Big red ants should piss in his eyes, eat his balls, penetrate his asshole, and eat his guts! He should get the plague! Syphilis! Malaria! Yellow fever! Leprosy! In vain. The more I wish the most horrible of deaths on him and treat him like the scum of the earth that he is, the less I can get rid of him!" - Kinski on Herzog
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Old 07-09-2011, 21:49   #8
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Sake, I thought you were only doing one a day? Get Jonno posting on here as otherwise it seems like it's just gonna be me and you posting interminably about bollocks that no-one else cares about. Hopefully Dragonfly or some other members will join in too.
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Old 07-09-2011, 21:54   #9
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I was but I had some time to kill and they don't take as long as I thought they would. Yes other cancers should post some bollocks, Jonno I know you've seen some shit. People will thank us for this valuable resource closer to Halloween. And it will be here for posterity so that our descendants may consult it.
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"Now I absolutely despise the murderer Herzog. I tell him to his face that I want to see him perish like the llama he executed. He should be thrown to the crocodiles alive! An anaconda should throttle him slowly! The sting of a deadly spider should paralyze him! His brain should burst from the bite of the most poisonous of all snakes! Panthers shouldn't slit his throat open with their claws, that would be too good for him! No. Big red ants should piss in his eyes, eat his balls, penetrate his asshole, and eat his guts! He should get the plague! Syphilis! Malaria! Yellow fever! Leprosy! In vain. The more I wish the most horrible of deaths on him and treat him like the scum of the earth that he is, the less I can get rid of him!" - Kinski on Herzog
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Old 07-09-2011, 22:11   #10
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Patrick (1978)



Cast

Robert Thompson, Susan Penhaligon, Rod Mullinar

Plot (No Spoilers)

A comatose hospital patient harasses and kills though his powers of telekinesis to claim his private nurse as his own.

Thoughts

Classic Australian horror from the 70s with some hilarious moments throughout. None of it really makes any sense and it's all a bit daft but that's the charm of it. It's also a favourite of Tarantino who tried to get Uma Thurman to do the Patrick coma stare during Kill Bill but was unsuccessful as couldn't explain why his eyes were open even though he was in a coma.

DVD/Bluray Availability

The Australian release from Umbrella Entertainment is unsurprisingly the best available edition of the movie but the Region 2 Optimum release in the UK isn't too bad. It has also been released by Scandinavian distributors Another World Entertainment in a 2-disc edition which includes a Goblin soundtrack CD.

Similar watching

Carrie, Scanners, Village of the Damned
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Old 08-09-2011, 14:18   #11
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I can't say I'm a Horror film connoisseur, but I suppose I can submit a few Zombie movies. I'm assuming these are only films we've seen?

Dance of the Dead (2008)



Cast

Jared Kusnitz, Greyson Chadwick and Chandler Darby

Plot (No Spoilers)

On the night of the big High-School Prom, the dead rise to eat the living, and the only people who can stop them are the losers who couldn't get dates to the dance.

Thoughts

A modern Zombie movie with classic elements. It's an entertaining and sometimes funny film, with good performances from the young cast. It basically takes your run-of-the-mill teen movie and chucks in some Zombies, and lots of them. The interaction between the characters is good and believable, to a point. It could possibly do with a better budget, because, if I remember correctly, the zombie make up was a bit shoddy in places. I'd recommend it.

DVD/Bluray Availability

It's available on DVD, but I think on Germany have the blu-ray.

Similar watching

Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, Night of the Comet
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Old 08-09-2011, 15:06   #12
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Of course you have to have seen it, otherwise you've got no idea if it's good or shit.

My Bloody Valentine (1981)



Cast

Paul Kelman, Neil Affleck

Plot (No Spoilers)

A decades old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day, turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.

Thoughts

One of the best horror films of the 80s and perhaps the greatest slasher film of all time, which does not get the credit it deserves. The abandoned mine setting is perfect; the killer has a great look, presence and weapon (pick-axe); and the kills are among the best, one in particular. The claustrophobic setting, combined with the sinister tone makes the whole thing rather creepy, the ending in particular. The remake is very good in its own right but the original is better.

It is however IMPERATIVE you see the recent US DVD and Blu-ray edition with the pre-cut footage restored; otherwise the film loses much of its impact. The inserted parts are of lesser quality but it's a necessary compromise.

DVD/Blu-ray Availability

Either the special edition R1 DVD or region-free US Blu-ray. NOT the cut UK edition.

Similar watching

My Bloody Valentine (Remake), The Prowler, Friday the 13th Parts III and IV

Trailer

__________________
"Now I absolutely despise the murderer Herzog. I tell him to his face that I want to see him perish like the llama he executed. He should be thrown to the crocodiles alive! An anaconda should throttle him slowly! The sting of a deadly spider should paralyze him! His brain should burst from the bite of the most poisonous of all snakes! Panthers shouldn't slit his throat open with their claws, that would be too good for him! No. Big red ants should piss in his eyes, eat his balls, penetrate his asshole, and eat his guts! He should get the plague! Syphilis! Malaria! Yellow fever! Leprosy! In vain. The more I wish the most horrible of deaths on him and treat him like the scum of the earth that he is, the less I can get rid of him!" - Kinski on Herzog
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Old 08-09-2011, 18:46   #13
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Contrary to popular belief I don't have much to contribute to this thread as i've never been a horror aficionado but i'll add what I can.

Dead Birds (2004)



Cast

Henry Thomas, Isiah Washington, Nicki Aycox

Plot (No Spoilers)

A group of thieves perform a Bank robbery in Civil War America and things don't go quite as planned. During their escape to Mexico the group seek refuge in an old mansion overlooking an abandoned plantation, but as their infighting over the gold escalates it becomes clear that their are worse things to fear than each other.

Thoughts

Though this has gathered a "cult" following (apparently) I rarely every hear or see anyone talking about this movie. ALex Turners feature length directorial debut brings with it a unique setting and a decent plot to elevate this far above many other budget horrors. Taking a slow burn style, the file delivers a great atmosphere and some genuine scares and a great twist of an ending mean that this is well worth the couple of pounds it will cost you to track down.

DVD/Blu-ray Availability

Available on DVD in the UK and USA. To my knowledge there are no differences between either.

Similar Watching

Red Sands, Most Haunted House films (see why I took so long to post in this thread)
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Old 08-09-2011, 18:55   #14
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I can scratch that one of my 'to do' list now, good man. It is indeed a great modern horror.

Michael Shannon and Mark Boone Junior not worth mentioning these days then?
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"Now I absolutely despise the murderer Herzog. I tell him to his face that I want to see him perish like the llama he executed. He should be thrown to the crocodiles alive! An anaconda should throttle him slowly! The sting of a deadly spider should paralyze him! His brain should burst from the bite of the most poisonous of all snakes! Panthers shouldn't slit his throat open with their claws, that would be too good for him! No. Big red ants should piss in his eyes, eat his balls, penetrate his asshole, and eat his guts! He should get the plague! Syphilis! Malaria! Yellow fever! Leprosy! In vain. The more I wish the most horrible of deaths on him and treat him like the scum of the earth that he is, the less I can get rid of him!" - Kinski on Herzog
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Old 08-09-2011, 18:59   #15
Jonno394
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I took the casting from Wiki, I just chose the three mentioned in their synopsis. Completely forgot Shannon was in it!
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